South Australia Police

South Australia Police

Infobox Australian police|
name = South Australia Police

motto = Keeping SA Safe
established = 28 April, 1838
commissioner = Commissioner Malcolm Hyde APM
ministry = Justice Portfolio
headquarters = South Australia Police Headquarters,
30 Flinders Street,
Adelaide, SA 5000
stations = 131
employees = 5000
units = * Major Crime Investigation Branch
* Special Tasks & Rescue Group
** Operations Section
** Water Operations Unit
** Dog Operations Unit
** Mounted Operations Unit
* Traffic Support Branch
* Forensic Services Branch

website =

The South Australia Police (SAPOL) is the police force of the Australian state of South Australia. It is an agency of the Government of South Australia within the South Australian Department of Justice.

Formally established in 1838, the force is the oldest in Australasia and it is the third oldest organised Police Service in the World. Unlike other Australian police forces, which originally employed soldiers or former convicts, the South Australia Police enlisted only volunteers. This occurred because South Australia was the only free province on the continent.

Recruit training is conducted at Fort Largs Police Academy located in the western Adelaide suburb of Taperoo.

For ceremonial activities, crowd control and patrol duties, the SA Police always use grey horses. They are bred and trained at the Thebarton Police Barracks, just outside the central business district of Adelaide. These Police 'Greys' as they are known, are ideal for Police work as the light grey tones make the horse highly visible at night. They are also highly recognisable in the community and are often involved in community events such as leading the annual Christmas pageant and ANZAC day parade.

The motto of the South Australia Police is: 'Keeping SA safe.'


South Australia Police divides the State into different sectors, known as Local Service Areas.

Metropolitan Service Areas

*Adelaide LSA
**Adelaide Station [Headquarters, South Australia Police]
**Norwood Station
**Hindley Street Station
**North Adelaide Station
*Port Adelaide LSA
**Port Adelaide Station
**Parks Station
**Henley Beach Station
*Adelaide Hills LSA
**Woodside Station
**Strathalbyn Station
**Mt Barker Station
**Stirling Station
*Sturt LSA
**Sturt Station [Southern Operations Command Centre]
**Glenelg Station
**Malvern Station
**Netley Station [Specialist Operations Centre - STAR Division]
**Marion Shopping Centre Response Unit
*South Coast LSA
**Christies Beach Station
**Noarlunga Centre Response Unit
**McLaren Vale Station
**Aldinga Station
**Victor Harbour Station
**Kingscote Station [Kangaroo Island]
**Goolwa Station
**Yankalilla Station
*Holden Hill LSA
**Holden Hill Station [Northern Operations Command Centre]
**Golden Grove Station
**Tea Tree Gully Station
**Gumeracha Station
*Elizabeth LSA
**Elizabeth Station
**Salisbury Station
**Two Wells Station
**Mallala Station
**Gawler Station

Regional Service Areas

*Far North LSA - H.Q. Port Augusta
*West Coast LSA - H.Q. Port Lincoln
*Mid West LSA - H.Q. Whyalla
*North East LSA - H.Q. Port Pirie
*Barossa - Yorke LSA - H.Q. Nuriootpa
*Riverland LSA - H.Q. Berri
*Hills - Murray LSA - H.Q. Murray Bridge
*South East LSA - H.Q. Mount Gambier
*Far North LSA - H.Q Coober Pedy


All grades of Constable perform the same basic range of duties, with the rank only reflecting experience. The rank of Probationary Constable is held for the first fifteen months of service. A First Class Constable is qualified for promotion to Senior Constable and a Senior Constable First Class is qualified for promotion to Sergeant/Senior Sergeant.

A Sergeant normally manages a team during a shift. A Detective Sergeant is normally in charge of a team in a specific part of CIB. A Senior Sergeant oversees the Sergeants and traditionally does more administrative work than active patrol duties.

An Inspector is in charge of a department. A Detective Inspector is normally in charge of the whole station CIB. A uniform Inspector is normally in charge of the station's operations.

A Chief Inspector commands a department at station level. A uniform Chief Inspector is in charge of all uniformed officers, regardless of their attachments to assigned areas (e.g. general duties, traffic duties etc). Some country LSA's have Chief Inspectors as the Regional Commander. A Detective Chief Inspector is in charge of all CIB related matters.

A Superintendent is a Station Commander and in some country LSA's can be a Regional Commander.

A Chief Superintendent is a Regional Commander, in charge of a region, commonly known as a Local Service Area (LSA).

A Commander is in charge of a specific branch (e.g. CIB, General Operations, STAR (Special Tasks and Rescue) Group, Public Relations Office).

An Assistant Commissioner oversees all aspects of the operational sides of policing. An Assistant Commissioner is in charge of each Operation Areas (e.g. Northern Operations, Southern Operations).

The Deputy Commissioner is the assistant to the Commissioner, who commands the force.


In recent years, the South Australia Police upgraded their communication and dispatch systems, in line with the newly established South Australian Government Radio Network (SAGRN). [] The new radio network is a digitally encrypted broadcast, so amateur scanner listeners can't monitor SAPOL frequencies. Since the introduction of SAPOL onto the SAGRN, police vehicles have been fitted with new digital radios, and also Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) which replaced Keyboard Data Terminals (KDTs).

The MDT is used for most policing duties carried out on vehicle patrol. Police officers are able to access a range of details about a person, along with vehicle identifications, and warnings about people and addresses. Other information including directions and road maps can be extracted from the MDT unit. The MDT is also used to task police officers to duties while on patrol.

SA Police have the use of several "Field Command Vehicles" which are used in a wide variety of ways, for example, as a mobile police station/unit at a large public function, or to co-ordinate search and rescues, co-ordination of police duties such as siege situations, or any other emergency situation that requires a central command post.

The standard issue SA Police firearms are the Smith & Wesson Model 19 or 66 revolver in .357 Magnum. CIB officers are issued with the Smith and Wesson Model 60. Other equipment issued to officers are oleoresin capsicum spray, ASP Extendable Baton and Hiatts handcuffs. On August 14 2007, Deputy Commissioner Gary Burns announced that SAPOL will commence a 12 month trial of an as yet unspecified semi-automatic firearm. [] On April 28 2008, Deputy Commissioner Burns stated that the .40 caliber Smith & Wesson M&P will eventually be issued to all officers with the CIB officers receiving the compact version. STAR Group officers have already been issued with the Smith & Wesson M&P due to their specialist role.

ee also

Specialist Sections:
*Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR)


External links

* [ South Australia Police]
* [ Department of Justice, Government of South Australia]
* [ SAPOL vehicle pictures - Historic and present]

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